I have been eating this salad a lot lately. It’s the pleasing texture and flavor contrasts that are holding my attention – bitter, crunchy radicchio and tangy, soft white beans. Also, it’s very easy to make.
The original recipe is from Food52– a wonderful warm salad with the radicchio wilted and topped with a lot of grated pecorino. I have found this salad to be very versatile though. I prefer a different kind of vinegar, it turns out that the cheese is not so important to me, and I eat it more often with the radicchio crisp and raw. Here are some of the ways I’ve eaten and served this dish in the last few months….
- An elegant and easy vegan appetizer for a fabulous party
- A light, romantic dinner with a cheese board and negroni’s or aperol spritzes
- A packed lunch paired with slices of pecorino and apple
- In it’s original form (warm with cheese) as a fast weeknight dinner to eat alone out of the pot,
The photos in this post are of the elegant vegan appetizer form and were taken by Rose Callahan at The Muses in the City Dear Valentine event that I cooked for in February. You can see more photos of that event and the complete menu in this post.
MARINATED WHITE BEANS IN RADICCHIO CUPS
adapted from Food 52
- 3 heads of radicchio
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons roughly chopped capers
- 1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans (1 can)
- 2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano (optional in my opinion)
- If you are making a wilted salad tear and wash the radicchio leaves. If you are serving this as a pretty appetizer or preparing lunches for the week, use a pairing knife to cut the stem and a bit of the core out of the radicchio head. Carefully remove leaves from the head. The leaves near the core will be too small and difficult to remove. You can chop these and throw them into a salad. Wash the leaf cups and let them dry while you make the beans.
- In a wide skillet, warm extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, thyme, and capers and saute for about 2 minutes, or just until the shallots start to slightly soften (don’t let them brown). Add the beans, vinegar, and a bit of salt and black pepper. Gently stir so the beans are evenly coated in the vinaigrette. Turn the heat down to low, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the beans are warmed through. Adjust seasoning and acidity, to taste.
- If you are making a wilted salad, toss the warm beans with the torn radicchio, parsley and (optional) grated cheese. If you are making appetizers or future lunches, let the beans cool then toss them with the parsley. Serve them beans in the radicchio cups at room temperature. In my opinion the grated cheese is not desirable in this scenario (athough, it really nice served along side a lovely cheese board or eaten with slices of cheese and apple for lunch.)
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